BY: MACKENZI BROWN

While growing up, I have always been a music enthusiast.
Always singing.
Always playing.
Always listening.
Always.

But as I got older, music started to actually mean something to me. The bands I idolized were no longer based solely on how attractive the members were (R.I.P. One Direction), but on how their music touched me.

I grew up in a small, southern town raised by a small, southern family. When I was still small, everything was picture perfect. When I got bigger, I realized I was meant for bigger things. Yet, nobody understood that. Nobody understood why I stopped liking country music. Or why I traded my Vineyard Vines for Pacsun and my sandals for Vans. Or why I do not agree with the morals and ideals that these small minds of this small town hold. I could not turn to my mother whom cried actual tears after she found out I wore a dark plum lipstick to school and told me that I just needed to date a country boy with a big truck. I could not turn to my sisters who said my new style was “weird.” I could not turn to anybody. So, I turned to music because music was always there.
Always.

I remember browsing through different official Spotify playlists just listening to a variety of different songs when I came across the song “Lydia” by Highly Suspect which is still one of my favorite bands three years later. That song contains lyrics such as “black ocean, cold and dark,” “I’ve seen better days, so unafraid in my youth. I can’t breathe, much less believe,” and “your eyes are lined in pain, black tears don’t hide in rain.” The song is pretty much full of dark language and although the true meaning is about the lead singer going through a toxic relationship and drug abuse, I still felt like this song was relatable to what I was going through. I felt sad, cold, and all alone. Even though I do not wish hardships upon anyone, I can not even begin to describe how relieving it was and still is to hear that somebody else is going through the same thing as you and is able to put all your feelings into words. I just remember thinking “finally, someone gets it.”

Ever since that moment, my adoration for music has done nothing but increase. I am at my happiest of moments when I am listening to music, especially if it is at a live concert.
Music has helped me make peace with being the black sheep of my family. Music has helped me through failed friendships. Music has helped me tremendously through heartbreak. Music has helped me become a more positive person. Music has changed me for the better and I hope it continues to do so.
Always.

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